What’s on the Horizon – June 2018



Double Bay Residence II

This house on the harbour beachfront of Double Bay in Sydney is one of the most complex we have ever built.

Designed by South African design firm SAOTA (partnered in Sydney by TKD Architects), this 5-bedroom family home is a complex composition of materials and spaces that required great finesse in the building and the detailing.

The concrete, masonry & steel frame structure is punctuated with off-form concrete and plaster walls. Hardwood timber external cladding adds texture to the lower level, and timber battens line the soffit of the elegant cantilever of the roof. Travertine floors blend seamlessly from inside to out.

Large screens of polycarbonate chainmail (a unique material, ‘Kaynemaile’, originally developed for the Lord of the Rings trilogy in New Zealand) are rigged from the graphite steel frames and add a softer, more transparent layer to the façade.

Inside, changes in levels and materials are used to define spaces in the open plan. Beside the entry, contained in a frameless glass box, the stairwell is veiled by a floating curtain of timber battens, providing privacy from the street and creating a dramatic rise to the upper floor.

Bedrooms on the upper level, each with their own ensuite bathroom, take full advantage of the beautiful aspect of this waterfront property.

This home was the fourth we have built for this extended family, and our first with SAOTA. The trust we had built with the client enabled us to be involved with the team, and the design intent, from a very early stage. It allowed us to ensure the smoothest possible construction process.

The clients were closely involved throughout. They visited the site sevarl times a week, and immensely enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing their dream home come into existence.

“When visiting our clients in the newly completed Double Bay home, we were struck by the extremely high level of finish, accuracy and craftsmanship that had been achieved in the final product. David and his team have achieved something special in the construction of this home that does full justice to our design, and this one-of-a-kind harbourside site. There was not a single visible defect that we could identify. Our experience of the build process with Horizon was one of effectively managed and productive collaboration between all parties. We look forward to working with David and the Horizon Team again in bringing another project to life.”
Philip Olmesdahl, Director of SAOTA.

The whole home can be seen on our website.

Architect – SAOTA (in association with TKD Architects)
Engineer – Acor Consultants
Photography – Adam Letch

Get to know our team – William Xu

What do you love about your job?

As a Contracts Administrator, I enjoy being challenged every day – solving puzzles and continuously learning. Seeing a building rise from the ground makes me very proud to be part of the Horizon team. I also love the company culture. Everyone works as one team, like a big family.

What are you working on at the moment?

We have lots of exciting projects on. I’m currently working on delivering a beautiful home at Darling Point. The project involves a high level of organisation and problem solving due to its difficult site.

What do you enjoy about working with architects and designers?

It’s always exciting seeing architects’ innovative designs. The best part of working with architects is transforming their design into a real building. Seeing the end result is always so satisfying.

What are some of the changes you’re seeing in the built environment industry?

Technology is becoming increasingly fundamental in building. This is enabling us to now build things that we could never build before. In the near future, we may be able to even visualise a building with VR technology while the house is still in sketch phase!

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date?

My greatest professional achievement to date has been building the Darling Point house. Thanks to a group effort from the entire Horizon team, we’ve been able to overcome some real challenges and get to where we are now.

What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned throughout your career?

Don’t be shy to ask questions!


Horizon YouTube

Do you follow our Horizon YouTube channel? We are continuously uploading footage of our spectacular completed and under construction homes.

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Builders don’t build

On the first day of the Construction Management degree, University of New South Wales Professor Clyde Smythe shared one key point with his students. Builders don’t build. They manage.

That seems strange, but when you think about it, builders are not carpenters, bricklayers or concreters. Nor are we electricians, plumbers, window fabricators, painters, landscapers or joiners.

The builder’s role is to MANAGE all of these team players.

If that’s the case, then what is management? The textbook says that management is defined as Planning, Organising, Directing & Controlling.

Set a goal, make a plan to achieve it, assemble a team, let them know what to do, and then monitor and evaluate how they’re going.

At Horizon, we think Project Management has two basic principles that we try and abide by. Homeowners, architects and designers should be asking their builders the following questions.

  1. What do you need to know?
  2. When do you need to know it?

Asking these questions far enough in advance will result in projects running seamlessly, at the minimum cost, with less stress, and most importantly – fewer defects.

Under construction

Above: This complicated steel frame will support a tiled roof at our Darling Point project in collaboration with MCK Architects & Demlakian Engineers.

Below: A rendering of the completed project, and the current status of the project. Very exciting!

We’d love to speak with you about your next project.

Give us a call on 1300 4 HORIZON.

+61 (0) 2 9388 1050
1300 4 HORIZON

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